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Thursday, March 04, 2010

€ 3 Million for European Care Robot

A 10 partner consortium coordinated by the Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC), Cardiff University, UK will start a R&D project to develop a remotely-controlled, semi-autonomous robotic solutions in domestic environments to support elderly people. In particular, the project will demonstrate an innovative, practical and efficient system called “SRS robot” for personalised home care.

The care robot wil be designed to act as a "shadow" of its controller. For example, elderly parents can have a robot as a shadow of their children or carers. In this case, adult children or carers can help them remotely and physically with tasks such as getting up or going to bed, doing the laundry and setting up ICT equipment etc. as if the children or carers were resident in the house.

This objective will be realised by the following SRS innovations:

A new intent-based remote control mechanism to enable the robots to be tele-operated over a real-world communication network robustly.

An adaptive autonomy mechanism to enable a highly efficient task execution for remotely controlled service robots.

A new robotic self-learning mechanism to enable the robots to learn from their experience.

A safety-oriented framework derived through extensive usability and user acceptance studies that enable service robots to be effectively deployed into home care applications.

The prototypes created in this project will be tested at the “S.Maria Nascente” Centre in Milano and the IZA Care Center in San Sebastián. The final solution will be further developed by Hewlett-Packard and other industrial partners of the consortium for a worldwide market with significant potential and volume.

The € 3 Million research project is supported by EC funding from the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The project comprises partners from Bulgaria, Italy, Germany, Spain and the UK.

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